Regina Brett, aged....er......90
In this blogposting…
* Life’s Lessons
* Paper Sculptures

My inclusion of ‘Life’s Lessons’ in the last posting seems to have stirred up something of a proverbial hornet’s nest amongst the more critical - not to say restive - members of our sacred congregation.  (If you want to see the list - and if your computer operates like mine - all you need to do is scroll down the page you’re on now.)

You may already have seen from the Comments box that alarm-bells sounded as soon as the source of the list was revealed as a viral email.  Val’s researches quickly showed that Regina Brett is not 90 years old but, instead, a sprightly 55-year-old.  As you can see, she looks even younger.

Nor is she a wise old ‘daughter of the soil’; she’s a highly-paid US newspaper journalist who therefore makes considerable amounts of money from dreaming up ‘heartfelt’ lists like these.

But Val’s comments were not the only criticisms I received.  Others included:

‘Ian, you must be joking.  I thought you were immune from these sentimental internet musings…’
‘This list is preposterous drivel; Ian - you’ve let your guard down’
‘What’s next, Ian?  Pictures of puppies and kittens to make us all go ‘aaaaaahhhh’?’
‘Lots of the items on the list are not just mawkish and saccharine - they are unrealistic, unhelpful and untrue.’

That last comment came via email from Mike in Melbourne (he who contributes so much to our Truckshunter Geography), who was particularly agitated by the list, as you can tell.  He went on to say that, for many people whose lives are hard, unhappy and poverty-stricken, the list will read like a sick joke ‘dreamed up by a comfortable, middle-class white American lady with nothing to do but concoct lists like this’.

His email certainly made me look at the list in a new light - especially the comments he made about individual items included on it.  And I’m afraid he’s right.  Commands to ‘forgive everybody everything’ are not just unwise but immoral.  And the advice to ‘Yield’ is simply incomprehensible.  Being told that ‘you already have all you need’ will sound hollow to the millions of people who don’t.

On reflection, I still think that there’s a lot of ‘good sense’ in the list.  But basically, that’s all there is - self-evident truths about which it does no harm to be reminded occasionally - but surrounded, in this case, by sugared, and often meaningless, sentimental homilies.

I plead guilty to a general - and hopefully temporary - lack of sceptical good judgement and stand corrected.

Here is a picture of a puppy and a kitten.


And now for something much more up the Truckshunter Street, as it were.

A friend recently told me about some mysterious paper sculptures that started to appear anonymously in several of Edinburgh’s city libraries.  This was the first one…

It’s made entirely of paper and stands on a book of poetry.  The note left beside it read:
‘We know that a library is so much more than a building full of books… a book is so much more than pages full of words.… This is for you in support of libraries, books, words, ideas….. a gesture….’

Soon afterwards, others began to appear with similarly uplifting and (in my view at least) articulate messages.

I love looking at them and hope you do, too.
Thanks, John.

It’s time to start planning for the first AGM of 2012.  Hildie has suggested a new venue, namely the cafe in Newcastle Art Centre.  It’s attached to a shop and gallery of the same name at the bottom of Westgate Road, more or less opposite the Assembly Rooms.  It’s lovely there, there are tables outside as well as in ( - you never know - ) and a surprisingly fine sculpture dominates proceedings.

If you’ve never been, you’re in for a treat.

The AGM will take place at 1100 on Thursday 16 February and a splendid time is guaranteed for all.

Post comments on this blog or email me:  truckshunters@googlemail.com


Sid said...

Puppies and Kittens Picture....Hilarious

Hildie said...

...... It was
truly a master stroke :-}

Sid said...

When I first read Life's Lessons I have to admit it was quickly done. Some of them I mentally nodded at, some made me smile, and like a lot of life in general, the others just didn't need any reaction.
I liked the one about paying off the credit card every month....as if!
Must take notice of...
Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.
So I'm looking forward to a really good bawl at our next agm....I'll bring the tissues.

Gillian continues to improve slowly.

Hildie said...

I hope Gillian is getting better and better as each day goes by, Sid.

Did you truckshunters know that today was 'Waitangi Day' in
New Zealand? I wonder whatever that means.

I do like today's quote from our calendar ....
"If you can keep your head while all those around you are losing theirs - then you just don't understand the problem." -
American broadcast executive.

Sid said...

Waitangi day Hildie.....

If you can keep your head while all those around you are losing theirs - then you are probably a Truckshunter.

Waitangi Day. Its one of those Colonial things....
In 1840 the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi took place.
Reps of the Crown and over 500 Maori chiefs signed what is New Zealands founding document.
The day was first officially commemorated in 1934, (crikey) and has been a public holiday since 1974.
It isn't always a happy day, tensions exist, and for the Maori it is the occasion for reflecting on the treaty.
Since the 1970's the style and mood of the commemorations on Waitangi Day have been influenced by the increasingly heated debate surrounding the place of the Treaty in modern New Zealand
This is, as you might guess, a precis of a very lengthy tangle involving various groups of people.
Hope it helps though.

Sid said...

A district nurse arrived today to remove Gillians stitches. She sat on my knee, (no, not the nurse) and was as good as gold.
I'd been keeping an eye on the wound since Gillian came out of hospital and had wondered how they'd get the stitches out.
Despite the nurses best efforts the stitches remain intact.
She left us 'to seek advice'.
Where I come from that means "anybody else fancy a try".

Hildie said...

She sat on my knee :-) :-)

Gillian's stitches not coming out ...... reminds me of my dentist (Mrs Bedi) ....
she couldn't pull all of my tooth out .... the roots of the tooth were left in the gum .....
she made an urgent referral
to the Dental Hospital in Newcastle .... that was on December 8th ....
do you think I should start worrying yet?

Hildie said...

Umm, Sid ....
that's my word verification in there ..... didn't that happen to you the other day?!

Sid said...

Certainly did Hildie.